Writing the Declaration of Independence  

Picture Discussion 

Look at each person’s face in this picture. What do suppose they are thinking? What is on the floor? How do you suppose those can to be crumpled up on the floor? What does this tell you about the process of writing the Declaration of Independence? What do you notice above the men? Do you see a familiar theme in Ferris’ work? What colors does he use? Are any similar to colors he used in other paintings? Do you see anything else that seems familiar in all his works you have studied?   

Picture Study Art Activity   

On watercolor paper, with a pencil and paper, see if you can recreate this painting. Once you have it the way you like it, use a thin black marker to trace your pencil drawing. Using watercolors, paint the drawing. 

History of this Painting   

When the colonists decided to split with England and form their own country, a Continental Congress met in 1776 and formed a committee of five men to write a paper declaring that America was independent of England. In this picture, Thomas Jefferson is standing. Benjamin Franklin is reading the latest draft. And John Adam’s is sitting between them. Jefferson was given the assignment of writing the draft, but many edits were made by Franklin and Adams.